The truth is that I bought this book by chance at the age of 41. I did not know the author. I hadn’t even heard about him. I did not carry out researches. I simply bought it, drawn by the title. I went back to my childhood reading Gerald Durrell, I remembered my passions, the dreams that in total freedom, and undisturbed by adults, I took delight in nurturing in very long periods of spare time, that now we would define wasted. Floating in the void, I was free to reflect, search, see and listen to details that I would have missed otherwise. I was uninterruptedly free to believe in what I considered to be right from the height of my complete inexperience and ignorance, and to learn by looking, listening and falling down.
Our aim is not only to promote reading or a particular book, and it should not be interpreted by animalists as an incitement to cage animals, times have changed, the world is infinitely big and there are countless means of communications – explicit and implicit, real and surreal. This is an invitation to believe in the freedom of being and dreaming, of following one’s passions. It doesn’t matter if we become something else, as we grow up… things change, cells regenerate and degenerate.
I met a barber in Modena who started working at the age of 7 and told me about a light at the end of the tunnel of our life, a light that allows us to move on, day after day. A goal, an incitement to act and grow up, and an answer to the evening questions when, after a hard day, we wonder why. Why should we continue to walk down this long tunnel? But light, paradise, dream… they have been lost today, the barber told me, young people have lost them, they do not know why they have to fight every single day of their life. Today we content ourselves with a grey corridor that leads us nowhere, and we end up being all alike. Young people (adulthood has shifted towards old age) do not know why they should work. Then I met Elena Borghi who at the age of 15 defined her dream and started striving to make it come true. She said that the word failure should be banned because it doesn’t exist, only experience exists and much determination is needed because dreaming is not enough to reach our goals. How different would our lives have been if the word failure didn’t exist?
I have enjoyed every hour that Gerald spent looking at the animals around him (quadrupeds, bipeds, insects or arachnids) and, since I have finished reading the book, I’ve been looking at anything that surrounds me with new eyes, because he reminded me what wonder means.
#freedom is what Gerald Durrell taught me, #freedom is what allows us to see the light at the end of the tunnel, #freedom is what teaches us not to frown at those who have stars in their eyes and to respect their freedom...
Thanks to all the encounters that have encouraged me to walk on through my tunnel.
Lina Vergara Huilcamán